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Belles and beaus of the ball

Emma Wright is all smiles as she dances with her father, Capt. Zachary Wright, during the
Cinderella Ball May 8 at Matt Arthur Elementary School. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tommie Horton)

Emma Wright is all smiles as she dances with her father, Capt. Zachary Wright, during the Cinderella Ball May 8 at Matt Arthur Elementary School. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tommie Horton)

Tech. Sgt. Branden McMorris and his daughter, Kambrie, get ready to dance. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tommie Horton)

Tech. Sgt. Branden McMorris and his daughter, Kambrie, get ready to dance. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tommie Horton)

ROBINS AIR FORCE BASE, Ga. -- Satin, sparkly sequins, tiaras and taffeta adorned the girls while the boys wore bow ties, suits and crisp shirts with their gold crowns. At Matt Arthur Elementary School's Cinderella Ball, all 120 first-graders were royalty.

An 18-year tradition, the students are taught about fairy tales for two weeks leading up to the dance. Barbara Winner volunteers to teach manners and the waltz as well as eating etiquette and how to properly go through a procession.

"They're so excited," Winner said. She has been volunteering for years and said she has teenagers come up to her and tell her they remember the ball from their time at the school.

Prince Charming was played by Matt Arthur, former superintendent for Houston County schools. 

After the students walk through the hall with their schoolmates, teachers and parents cheering, the students enter the ballroom - formerly the cafeteria - on the red carpet under an arch of purple tulle.

For parents, it was a memory to cherish when the children asked them to dance the final waltz.

"It's been awesome," said Capt. Zachary Wright in the 461st Air Control Wing.

He said his daughter, Emma Wright, has been talking non-stop all week about the dance. She even got to buy a new royal blue dress for the event.

Tech. Sgt. Branden McMorris, attended the dance with his 6-year-old daughter Kambrie, who was sporting long brown curls and a long sea green-colored dress.

Principal Richard Rogers played the part of the knight. Administrator VaRee Harrell and vice principal Kelly Rush were dressed as the fairy godmothers.

"My favorite part was when we got to dance with our parents," said Linda Gorman, 7, who danced with both her mother and father.